'It's how you make history': The run that punched Toronto's first Finals ticket

3:13 AM ET

TORONTO — There’s very little about Kawhi Leonard that screams “mindfulness guru,” but as the Toronto Raptors gathered on the bench during a timeout in the midst of the team’s big 26-3 run in the second half, he told his teammates, “Enjoy the moment, stay here, stay together, we’re good,” according to Raptors guard Norman Powell.

The Raptors did enjoy the moment, did stay together and were so good they erased a 15-point deficit late in the third quarter in less than four minutes of game time. This explosive spurt was the most consequential stretch of basketball in this NBA postseason, vaulting Toronto to a 100-94 win over the Milwaukee Bucks in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals Saturday night, and the first NBA Finals appearance in Raptors’ franchise history.

“It’s what you play basketball for, for those moments,” Powell said. “The one thing Kawhi really stressed to us was just to enjoy it. Don’t get too out of character, just enjoy the moment and continue to go out there and just lay it on the floor. So it was an amazing feeling just to be able to battle and chip away at it.


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